Special Report: Light Rail

Stoney Creek Chamber: Reconsider Vote Against Bay LRT Station

A letter from the executive director of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce calls on Stoney Creek Councillors to support a Bay Street LRT station at Council.

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 20, 2017

Arnie Strub, executive director of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce, has written to Stoney Creek and Glanbrook Councillors Brenda Johnson, Doug Conley and Maria Pearson calling on Council to approve a motion asking Metrolinx to add a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station at Bay Street.

Councillors at last Wednesday's General Issues Committee (GIC) voted 9-6 to reject a proposal to add an LRT station at Bay Street. That vote still has to be ratified by Council this Wednesday, so there is an opportunity for Councillors to change their votes.

Strub writes that he was "surprised and dismayed that the councillors representing Stoney Creek have voted against the sub-committee's unanimous recommendation to add a Bay Street stop to the B-Line project."

Listing a number of benefits from a Bay station, the letter concludes, "An LRT line without a Bay Street stop would seem to be going against the original mandate of the project; to enhance business development and to encourage transit use."

According to a staff report on the possible Bay station, which was proposed by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce during a recent LRT public consultation period, the station is feasible. The construction cost will be approximately $2.6 million, funded by Metrolinx as part of the capital cost, and the station will have minimal impact on travel time.

A station at Bay will increase LRT access to the downtown and encourage redevelopment of several surface parking lots adjacent to the intersection, increasing property tax revenue for the City.

If Council approves the motion, Metrolinx will then evaluate the request to ensure it fits within the funding envelope and provides good value for money.

The motion asking for a Bay station was approved unanimously at the LRT Subcommittee but defeated 9-6 at last week's GIC meeting. Here are the votes at GIC:

Following is the text of the letter from Arnie Strub:

Dear Councillors,

As a sitting advisory member of the LRT sub-committee, I am surprised and dismayed that the councillors representing Stoney Creek have voted against the sub-committee's unanimous recommendation to add a Bay Street stop to the B-Line project.

I ask that you reconsider your position and vote in favour of adding a Bay Street stop at the next available GIC or full council opportunity, for the following reasons:

1. Destination Location

Bay Street is the destination stop for major events, all year long, at these venues: FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Place, Convention Centre, Art Gallery of Hamilton

2. Tourist Location

Bay Street would be the on/off stop to service business and pleasure tourists staying at the major hotels in the downtown core, specifically the Sheraton and Homewood Suites.

3. Business Location

Bay Street would be the on/off stop to service the following major businesses and employers:

  • Hamilton City Hall

  • Government of Ontario offices

  • Government of Canada offices

  • Standard Life Building (120 King Street West) and Jackson Square Shopping Centre

  • McMaster University, David Braley Health Sciences Centre

An LRT line without a Bay Street stop would seem to be going against the original mandate of the project; to enhance business development and to encourage transit use.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. I am available for follow up discussions at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Arnie Strub Executive Director, Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce


There is still time for Council to change its vote and approve the Bay station request. Please take a moment to send a polite message to Council asking them to reconsider their vote against this important line improvement.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By john1242 (registered) | Posted February 20, 2017 at 12:29:35

Arnie, why not lobby LRT Sub-Committee and Wards 9,19,11 councilors to vote for original mandate of LRT project to eastgate Square a destination location to enchance business development and encourage transit user of Stoney Creek.With monies available $150M /$250M ?from A--Line spur(2km)to Queenston Circle (2km)to complete phase 1 LRT from Eastgate Square to McMaster of the original transit plan. Queenston Circle was approve (2014)by Council for development of a project worth $30m for revenue (taxes) it will be catalyst of Ward 4 East End ? What revenue (taxes) collected on Transit Terminal?

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